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Food handling certification not ready for Commissioners Court consumption

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County Commissioners Court postponed a decision on Tuesday on whether to require food handlers at restaurants in unincorporated areas to have an official training certification. The addition of that regulation would put the county in line with city of Austin rules. However, the notion met bipartisan headwinds from the dais. Republican Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, a restaurateur who opened Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Oak Hill, worried that small-business owners would bear the cost of the new regulation. Meanwhile, Democratic Commissioner Brigid Shea questioned whether the rules would make it more difficult for job seekers – who would have to pay for the certification out of their own pockets – to find employment. In the end, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt delayed the vote until after a public hearing set for Feb. 9. At the end of the discussion, she joked, “I would encourage Jack Allen’s Kitchen to subsidize the servers getting the food handlers certification.” With a chuckle, Daugherty quipped back, “I’ll pass that along.”

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